We Advise On Control Gear & Switchgear Saftey Precautions
Perhaps the most obvious danger to those carrying out electrical switch gear testing is the threat of an electrical shock. Any connection between a live connection and a body connected to the ground will result in an electric shock, varying in danger depending on the voltage level. Should conductors be short-circuited accidentally, there is an additional risk of burning from arcing.
Electric shocks or dangerous reactions to them (e.g. through falling or in touching another object) frequently occur during testing and repairs carried out on control gear and switchgear, particularly when there are large areas of earthed metal. High voltage flash testing can also be extremely dangerous when numerous parts of the equipment are simultaneously live.
In order to minimise potential hazards, electrical test areas should be consigned to designated areas with restricted access to other people during testing. This may be achieved through using temporary barriers as switchgear testing is ongoing.
In accordance with the Electrcity at Work regulations 1989, as far as you can, carry out electrical control gear work with all equipment dead. If this is not possible, it may be necessary to test control gear through use of safer voltage levels. Any exposed conductors should be protected wherever possible using rubber floor mats, sheets or screens. For supplementary protection, a residual current device should be implemented.
All testing equipment such as leads and cables should be treated extremely carefully to avoid injury. Cables that harbour dangerous voltages should be insulated and terminated and it should be ensured that no conductors are exposed.